Austal Ships Sinks in the High Court

Last Friday the High Court refused to grant special leave to appeal from the Full Federal Court decision in Austal Ships Sales Pty Ltd v Stena Rederi Aktiebolag [2008] FCAFC 121. The transcript of the special leave hearing can be found here.

In relation to the Full Court’s finding that despite claim 1 being incorporated by reference into claim 7, the “width requirements” of the two claims were “true alternatives”, Gummow J noted:

Of course the ordinary idea is that these claims are dependent. I have said so myself in judgments, but that does not relieve one of the need to construe the particular instrument … Unless you have some point that the Act does not permit the construction of claims in the way that these claims are said to be formulated, it just becomes the particular case.